Sunday, July 31, 2016
Here's the match video of Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Rose Namajunas from last night's UFC show in Atlanta. The winner of this match gets a shot at Joanna Jedrzejczyk's UFC Strawweight Championship. The big mistake Rose made is she seemed content to counterpunch with Karolina. I would have never expected her to utilize that strategy. She needed to be more aggressive because she played right into Karolina's usual strategy. So nothing much happened in round one. There was just a lot of dancing around. I expected that from Karolina because she always fights like that. But that's not how Rose usually fights. So round one could have been scored 9-9. But judges don't usually score tie rounds. With that in mind, Rose marginally won round one 10-9. I also thought round two was much closer than people think. Though Karolina was effective with knees in the clinch, Rose scored with some significant strikes. So I scored it a 10-10 tie. But the tide had turned and Rose had lost steam. I can't say why Rose fought like that but that's why she lost. Karolina clearly won round three. So if one were to score the fight as a whole the way it was done in PRIDE, Karolina won the fight. But here fights are scored by the round. And that's why the fight was much closer than the perception I saw on Twitter last night. The first two rounds were close enough that Rose could have got the decision. So the split decision win for Karolina didn't surprise me. But I didn't think she won the fight. I thought Rose lost the fight. She beat herself with terrible strategy. Karolina get the title shot. But something tells me she will need to do more than she did in this fight to beat Joanna. Enjoy the video!
These days David Steinberg is probably best known as a sitcom director. But in the 70s he had some success as a standup comic and he hosted his own variety show and he even recorded a couple of albums. Booga, Booga is his best known routine. He was born Aug. 9, 1942 in Winnipeg. His father was a Romanian born Rabbi so Steinberg grew up in a strict Orthodox Jewish household. While studying English Literature at the University of Chicago, Steinberg was inspired by Lenny Bruce to get into comedy. He joined Second City in 1964. He became known for his satirical sermons on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and this led to comedy albums for UNI and Elektra. Then in 1972 he hosted The David Steinberg Show for CBS as a summer replacement. Then he released the 1974 album Booga, Booga on Columbia Records. On the album, he performs Booga, Booga as a standup comic. But then he turned it into a sketch for his 1976 show The David Steinberg Show for the Canadian network CTV. I think the routine works better as a sketch. You'll note that Joe Flaherty of SCTV plays his patient. SCTV's John Candy, Dave Thomas and Martin Short were also regulars on the show. The CD Comedy Classics seems to be a reworking of the album Booga, Booga from The Orchard. Sony did reissue Booga, Booga on CD but it is out of print. Since the 80s, Steinberg has mostly written, produced and directed sitcoms. He directed many episodes of Newhart, Designing Women and Mad About You and he has also directed episodes of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. He has won a couple of Emmys and other awards. Steinberg currently hosts the Showtime series Inside Comedy. But it all started with Booga, Booga. Here's David Steinberg with Joe Flaherty performing Booga, Booga on The David Steinberg Show 1976.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Album:The Best Of Wilson Phillips
Hold On was the first of three number one hits for Wilson Phillips. Unfortunately, all three singles were on their 1990 debut CD. And when their second CD didn't do well, they quickly split up. Of course Carnie and Wendy Wilson are the daughters of Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson. And Chynna Phillips is the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas. So they knew each other growing up in Los Angeles. Chynna appeared in films like Some Kind Of Wonderful and Say Anything. Her biggest role was as Roxanne Pulitzer in the 1989 TV movie Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer. Inspired by Band Aid, Chynna approached Carnie and Wendy about recording a charity single by children of famous musicians. That fell through but the three started writing songs and Wilson Phillips signed with Capitol's SBK label. Their 1990 debut album Wilson Phillips was written and produced with Glen Ballard. He worked with Michael Jackson and later would have a lot of success with Alanis Morissette. Hold On was the first single and it topped the charts. Release Me and You're In Love also topped the charts. Though Wilson Phillips was criticized for being overly sappy and sugary, record buyers liked it and the album was certified 5XPlatinum. They were also nominated for several Grammys and Hold On was named Single of the Year by Billboard. It was the best selling album of all time by a female group. Of course when a debut album is that big, it's impossible to follow up on it. For their 1992 album Shadows and Light, Wilson Phillips took a more serious tone. They still wrote and produced the album with Ballard. But it just didn't catch on with listeners. You Won't See Me Cry was the highest charting single at #20. And that was it. Chynna Phillips went solo and Wilson Phillips split up. This budget comp covers both albums. Chynna's 1995 solo album Naked and Scared went nowhere. Carnie Wilson went on to host a talk show. She recorded an album in 2003 that was never released. Wilson Phillips reunited for an album of covers in 2004. They reunited again in 2012 to release the CD Dedicated and star in the TV Guide Network reality show Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On. Wilson Phillips recently appeared on the ABC series Greatest Hits but I don't think they tour or plan to record regularly. Here's the video for Hold On by Wilson Phillips.
Friday, July 29, 2016
Novalima mixes the traditional music of Peru with contemporary music and their music has become very popular with DJs probably because their producer is a DJ. Their music is AfroPeruvian which is similar to AfroCuban. The members of Novalima were friends in high school in Lima, Peru. There is Carlos Li-Carrillo on keyboards and bass, Grimaldo Del Solar on guitar and keyboards, Rafael Morales on guitar and Ramon Perez-Prieto on keyboards. They add other musicians but that's the core group. The other key figure is producer Toni Economides. He's very well known for his remixes. The members of Novalima lived in different locations but they decided to converge in 2002. They released the CD Novalima independently in 2003. And then they met Economides and he got their 2005 CD Afro released on the British label Mr. Bongo. This got them a deal with the US label Cumbancha owned by Vermont based musicologist Jacob Edgar. He specializes in world music. Coba Coba was released in 2008. Several new members were added including singer Milagros Guerrero. The album did so well that there was even an album of remixes. The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy. One of their songs appeared in the 2010 Robert Rodriguez film Machete. For their latest CD Planetario, Novalima and producer Economides switched to Wonderwheel. Novalima is currently on tour in Europe. Fans of Latin music should check them out. Here's Novalima performing Coba Guarango on Plus TV Jammin Sessions 2012. There is a video for Coba Guarango but I like this performance clip better.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Album:The Sound Of Music: 50th Anniversary Edition
When Marni Nixon died the other day, the subject of dubbing in movie musicals came up. It was much more common than you might think. And in those days, it was a big secret. You weren't supposed to know the vocals were dubbed and it was never credited. So when you watched the 1965 film The Sound Of Music, you thought Christopher Plummer was singing Edelweiss. We now know that Bill Lee dubbed Plummer's singing voice. Lee was born Aug. 21, 1916 in Johnson, NE but he grew up in Des Moines, IA. Lee started out playing the trombone but he started singing in college. After serving in the US Navy during WWII, Lee moved to Hollywood. He was a member of The Mellomen led by Thurl Ravenscroft (voice of Tony The Tiger). The Mellomen mostly worked for Walt Disney. Lee never recorded under his own name. And most of his film work was dubbing his voice for actors who didn't sing. He also recorded plenty of jingles. Lee's singing voice is heard on many Disney films including Alice In Wonderland and Lady and the Tramp. But his voice also appeared in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, South Pacific, Hey, There! It's Yogi Bear, Mary Poppins and of course The Sound of Music. Plummer was cast as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music after director Robert Wise saw him on Broadway. Plummer has said many time he hated making the film. He says he was spoiled by all the meaty roles he did on Broadway. Plummer says the plan was for him to do his own singing. But Wise and musical director Irwin Kostal decided Plummer would sound better if his vocals were augmented. So they brought in Lee and Plummer admits that it is mostly Lee that you hear in the film. There was an art to the kind of singing that Lee and Marni Nixon did. Lee had to sound like Plummer. So it's Lee's voice that you hear on the 50th anniversary edition of The Sound of Music soundtrack. The other singer in the clip Charmian Carr was discovered by Wise. She left the entertainment industry to own an interior design business. For Bill Lee, The Sound of Music was just another job in an anonymous career. His singing voice appeared in The Jungle Book, Thoroughly Modern Millie and many other films and TV shows. He died on Nov. 15, 1980 at age 64. Here's Bill Lee with Charmian Carr performing Edelweiss in the 1965 film The Sound of Music.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Album:Best Love Songs Vol. 2
Feelings is one of the kitschiest schlockiest hit singles of all time. It was a top ten hit in 1976. And then Morris Albert quickly faded into obscurity. He was born Mauricio Alberto Kaisermann Sept. 7, 1951 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Before Feelings he was a member of The Hangmen. They were a garage band and they recorded an album in 1967. In the early 70s, he got into production with groups like The Light Reflections. He wrote and recorded Feelings and he thought if he could get airplay in the US, it could be a big hit. So he changed his name to Morris Albert. After Feelings became a hit in Latin America, RCA picked it up for distribution and it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. Albert never had another hit and of course Feelings is constantly mocked as one of the worst hit singles of all time. These days Albert lives in Italy and you might think that at least he is wealthy from Feelings royalties. But he was sued by French composer Louis "Loulou" Gaste. It seems that Albert based Feelings on the 1957 Gaste song Pour Toi. But he didn't give him a songwriting credit. So now Albert doesn't even get that. You can get Feelings on this various artists budget comp. Albert is still around. He lives in Italy and he last recorded in 2011. But he will forever be remembered for Feelings. Here's Morris Albert performing Feelings 1976.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
So the good news is that Sasha Banks finally won the WWE Women's Championship from Charlotte. So the questions from this is what took them so long and why now instead of SummerSlam. I can't answer the first question because I would have to get inside of Vince McMahon's head. Look, I wouldn't have put the belt on Charlotte in the first place. She's green and the title hasn't really improved her wrestling or some of her promos. The reason they did the title change now instead of SummerSlam is the same reason Finn Balor won big in his debut. They wanted to make a big splash with the roster split. This was Charlotte's best match to date mostly carried by Sasha. But they need to get her to work on some of her problems. Please don't let Charlotte go to the top rope anymore. She always muffs those moves. It happened twice last night. I would also avoid having her try to catch anyone outside the ring. It looked like Sasha fell awkwardly on a dive to the floor. She actually got her hands out but I don't think most fans saw that. But Charlotte didn't catch her properly anyway. And it's not the first time. So maybe if Charlotte doesn't have the belt, they can get her to work on correcting these things. The match was decent. The most important thing is the fans were into it. And when Sasha won, it meant something. I actually prefer Sasha as a heel but fans won't boo her now. I expect Charlotte to regroup and I wonder if an alliance with Nia Jax is in her future. Dana Brooke proved to be useless. And I loved the Eddy Guerrero spot that Sasha borrowed to get rid of Dana. That was hilarious. Check out the video for yourself.
Song:Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
Album:Make It Big
Though in the end, Wham! was a footnote in launching George Michael to a successful solo career, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go was a huge hit and I don't know if Michael is a successful solo artist without it. Michael and Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley were schoolmates in Bushey, England. At first they were in a ska band called The Executive. But when that split up, they formed Wham! and signed with Innervision Records with CBS distribution. The problem was they were so eager to be successful, they signed a terrible contract and they would have to sue Innervision to get out of it. So Michael was the lead singer and he wrote all the songs. Clearly it was inevitable that he would be a solo artist. They scored some top ten hits in England like Young Guns (Go For It), Wham Rap!, Bad Boys and Club Tropicana that Epic in the US expressed interest in releasing Wham! in the US. For one thing, teen girls went nuts over Wham!. But they had to get out of their Innervision contract. They closed in 1985. So now that Wham! were on Epic worldwide, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go blitzed the world and made Wham! pop stars. It was a worldwide chart topper and the album Make It Big was certified 6XPlatinum. Michael got the idea for the song from a note Ridgely wrote to his parents. He says he just wanted it to be an upbeat pop song. The next single Careless Whispers was sold more as a Michael solo record and it was also a huge hit. The interesting thing is Ridgeley co-wrote Careless Whispers so that song made him wealthy. From there, things started to fall apart. Wham! went to China in 1985 with much hoopla. Lindsay Anderson was supposed to make a documentary about the tour. But the film was not released. A re-edited version was released on DVD in 2006. The split was coming so Wham! released a final album in 1986 which was a rehash of previously released material. Then Michael went solo and we all know how successful he was. Ridgeley moved to Monaco and tried auto racing. Then he moved to Los Angeles to try acting. After returning to England, Epic agreed to release the 1990 album Son Of Albert. It didn't sell and Ridgeley quit the music business. He lives off of the Careless Whispers royalties. He rarely appears in public. Wham! was supposed to reunite in 2005 but Ridgeley backed out. So of course Wham! had the potential to be much bigger if they had stayed together. It just wasn't in the cards. Here's the video for Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham!.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Song:Sweet Child O' Mine
Album:Appetite For Destruction
Guns N' Roses had a strong run in the late 80s. Sweet Child O' Mine was their only number one hit. They were pretty big anyway but it's likely they could have been much bigger without all the internal bickering. Guns N' Roses was a merger of two bands. Guitarist Izzy Stradlin of Hollywood Rose formed the band with Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns. L.A. Guns were looking for a new lead singer and Stradlin suggested Axl Rose. The members of L.A. Guns were replaced by bassist Duff McKagan, guitarist Slash and drummer Steven Adler. All these guys knew each other from other bands. After making their mark on the Los Angeles club scene, Guns N' Roses signed with Geffen Records. Their debut album Appetite For Destruction was released July 1987 produced by recording engineer Mike Clink. The album sold 30 million copies worldwide even after the album cover was changed because some stores refused to stock the album. Sweet Child O' Mine was the first single and it topped the charts. The main thing the song has going for it is a great guitar riff. The song was written at a jam session. Rose wrote the lyrics after listening to the band play the song. He was inspired by then girlfriend Erin Everly (Don Everly's daughter). She's in the video. Welcome To The Jungle and Paradise City were also top ten hits. Appetite For Destruction is available as a budget CD. Their 1988 album G N' R Lies wasn't as successful. Patience was the only top ten hit from the album. They took a shortcut by including songs from a 1986 EP. We also started hearing about bad behaviour on tour mostly by Rose. Steven Adler was fired for heroin use but was rehired when he agreed to quit taking drugs. He wasn't able to stick to that and he was fired again. Adler went on to sue for back royalties. He was replaced by Matt Sorum of The Cult. The band was very close to splitting up. But instead they released Use Your Illusion 1 and Use Your Illusion 2 in 1991. Both albums did very well and November Rain was Guns N' Roses final top five hit. There were continuing problems with Rose' behaviour while on tour. Stradlin quit and was replaced by Gilby Clarke. After the 1993 album of covers The Spaghetti Incident? was poorly received, Guns N' Roses went on hiatus. They started working on an album in 1996 but Rose didn't think it was good enough and it was scrapped. Geffen got so frustrated with them that a Greatest Hits CD followed by a live CD was released. Rose sued Geffen. The album Chinese Democracy was supposed to be released in 2000. But it wasn't released until 2008. Rose continued to use the Guns N' Roses name when he probably should have just gone solo. He hired musicians for Guns N' Roses tours. They reunited for their 2012 induction into the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame. Rose, Slash and McKagan are part of the current touring Guns N' Roses. It doesn't look like they plan to record right now. It's amazing that Guns N' Roses are still around. Here's the video for Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Here's the match video of Felice Herrig vs Kailin Curran from last night's UFC show in Chicago. Felice is a veteran kickboxer fighting in front of her home town fans in Chicago. As an MMA fighter, she's a little shaky. After her loss to Paige VanZant last year, Felice took a break to get her act together. The smartest thing she did was return to former trainer and Bellator fighter Jeff Curran. I have always seen a marked improvement in Felice when she trains with him. Kailin is from Hawaii. She won her last fight over Emily Kagan who was released shortly after. Kailin's biggest flaw is she tends to lose concentration during fights. And that has cost her fights. I don't think she belongs in the UFC. Kailin went for a takedown. Felice not only blocked it but she executed her own successful takedown. And then she made a really slick move to take Kailin's back. Kailin tried to escape by standing. But it didn't work and Felice won by rear naked choke. That move Felice made to take Kailin's back is not something I would expect from her. But Jeff Curran should get a lot of the credit. She just seems to click with him. Not only did it get Felice the win but she got $50,000 for the sub of the night. And no question winning like that in her home town is a big deal. If she stays with Curran, who knows what she could do? Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Valentina Shevchenko vs Holly Holm from last night's UFC show in Chicago. When this fight was announced, my big concern was that it would be a five round snoozefest. And that's what it was. All this week, Holly talked about the lessons she learned from the loss to Miesha Tate. But based on last night's loss, she didn't learn a damn thing. Look, Holly is bigger and stronger than Valentina. If Holly is aggressive, she should beat Valentina. But as Holly admitted after the fight, she is afraid to be aggressive. Fear can motivate a fighter. But that kind of fear can paralyze a fighter. And that's what it does to Holly. And it's not like Valentina fought very well herself. But Holly did virtually nothing. There was no urgency even in round five even when she should know she was losing. She says she wasn't told that by her corner. I think she should know anyway. Is she that stupid? The only round Holly was given was round one. It was virtually a tie. Neither fighter did much of anything. But Holly knocked Valentina down with a push and that was enough to give her the round. But after that, Valentina was marginally more effective. But Holly was completely ineffective. Valentina got a takedown in round three. She did a lay and pray but the ref allowed it so she won the round. Holly made no adjustments in the final two rounds. She kept doing the same stuff that wasn't working. Valentina did enough to win the fight. I guess it was an upset though I wasn't very surprised. Can we officially call Holly's win over Ronda Rousey a fluke? Because unless she changes, that is what will go down in history. What's next? It depends on when the UFC wants champ Amanda Nunes to defend her belt. Ronda will get that title shot if she returns in the fall. But I don't think she is returning until 2017. So I think Julianna Pena should get the title shot. Enjoy the video!
Song:Trouble In Mind
Album:Richard M. Jones and the Blues Singers (1923-1938)
Pianist Richard M. Jones was mainly a sideman in the 20s and 30s. He is best known for writing the blues standard Trouble In Mind. He first recorded it in 1924 with singer Thelma La Vizzo. Jones was born June 13, 1892 in Donaldsville, LA. He started out playing cornet with the Eureka Brass Band. But then he turned to piano and he played clubs in New Orleans. Jones moved to Chicago in 1918 and went to work for bandleader Clarence Williams in his publishing company. And that's how Jones got into the record business. He continued to work as a sideman and occasionally he would record as a leader. But he was known for accompanying singers. Trouble In Mind is probably Jones' best known song. He first recorded it for Paramount Records in 1924. The singer is the otherwise unknown Thelma La Vizzo. She only recorded a couple of times with Jones and she disappeared. You can get this recording on this CD from Document which features various singers that Jones recorded in the 20s and 30s. In 1926, Jones played piano on a recording of Trouble In Mind featuring singer Bertha "Chippie" Hill and Louis Armstrong on cornet. Since then Trouble In Mind has become a standard recorded by all kinds of artists. The best known versions are by Dinah Washington in 1952 and Nina Simone in 1961. Jones worked for Okeh, Decca and Mercury as a producer and talent scout and he led his band The Jazz Wizards until his death on Dec. 8, 1945 at age 53. Here's a video for Trouble In Mind by Richard M. Jones featuring Thelma La Vizzo.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Here's the fight video of Mackenzie Dern vs Kenia Rosas from last night's Legacy Fighting Championship show in Lake Charles, LA. This aired on AXSTV and I know many fans don't get that channel outside the US. We don't get it in Canada. Of course there is a lot of interest in Mackenzie because she's a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and multi time champ. Her dad started training her when she was three years old and now she's a beast at 23 years old. Of course she's got her eye on the UFC Strawweight Championship. But the UFC normally doesn't sign MMA newcomers no matter who they are. Legacy is a good place for Mackenzie to get some experience and make adjustments to prepare her for the UFC. And after watching this fight, there's no question she needs to work on some things. Mackenzie is training at MMA Lab in Phoenix with coach John Crouch. Her opponent is Kenia Rosas who is a kickboxer from Texas making her MMA debut. Not surprisingly, Mackenzie won easily by unanimous decision. But she has to be disappointed to not get a finish. And though Michael Schiavello tries to credit Kenia for hanging on, Crouch needs to work on Mackenzie's finish. In round one, Mackenzie tries for a rear naked choke. But she never applies it properly and then she keeps trying when she should have given up on it. Then she tries for an armbar which is never applied properly. You can see her fumbling with the grip. In round two, Mackenzie just lays on her for a while. She tries some ground and pound but it's not all that effective. When she finally applies an armbar properly in round three, it's too late in the round and Kenia can just hang on. So I'm sure Crouch saw things that Mackenzie needs to work on before she goes to the UFC. Mostly her execution needs to be more precise because that's how fights are finished. I look forward to monitoring her progress. Enjoy the video.
Song:Shake It Off
So when Taylor Swift first emerged in 2006, the big debate was is she country or pop. With the 2014 album 1989 and the single Shake It Off, she announced before it was released that it was a pop album. Who has ever done that? Yet another music industry rule broken. Conventional wisdom says you don't announce that. But Taylor gets away with it because she writes her own songs and despite all the nonsense surrounding her, she seems to have her head on straight. I don't like her music but I'm not her audience. She was born Dec. 13, 1989 in Reading, PA. She got into musical theater as a child and then she was influenced by Shania Twain to get into country music. She took a demo of covers to Nashville and came to the conclusion that she needs to write her own songs. So at age 14 she got an artist development deal with RCA and she moved with her family to Nashville. While attending high school, she started working with veteran Nashville songwriters. She seemed to click with Liz Rose who had modest success previously. She started recording demos with session musician Nathan Chapman. Taylor left RCA because she wanted to record her own songs. At a showcase at the Bluebird Cafe, she was spotted by former DreamWorks Records exec Scott Borchetta who was starting Big Machine Records. She convinced Borchetta to let her record her 2006 debut album with Chapman. Because he had never produced an album, veteran producer Robert Ellis Orrall was hired to help him. Taylor wrote all the songs either by herself or with Liz Rose. The album was a huge success. It sold five million copies. Teen girls identified with her. Her 2008 album Fearless was even bigger and that and the 2011 album Speak Now were still country but leaning towards pop. It was with the 2012 album Red that Swedish producer Max Martin was brought in along with Swedish producer Shellback. Back in the 90s, Martin produced The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. Chapman was still executive producer so he encouraged Taylor to work with Martin. For the 2014 album 1989, Martin and Shellback produced seven of the thirteen songs including Shake It Off. She worked with other producers but Martin set the tone for a full blown pop album. I think it was a good idea for her to announce that in advance. Shake It Off was a worldwide chart topper. 1989 is her biggest selling album to date. So now Taylor Swift is the reigning queen of pop music. Of course her personal life is in the tabloids a lot. Would that be a distraction? Probably not because she can just write songs about that stuff. Hopefully she doesn't get too bitter or jaded about everything. At this point, she knows that stuff comes with the territory. Jack Antonoff wrote with Taylor on 1989 and he says she'll never stop writing songs because that's what got her to this level. She told Rolling Stone that she could start recording a new album at any time because she has stockpiled new songs. Big Machine has a really good formula with her. Why would they mess with it? Here's the video for Shake It Off by Taylor Swift.
Friday, July 22, 2016
|Kanna Asakura, Yoon Ha Hong|
Singer songwriter Tift Merritt has had plenty of critical acclaim. But her records don't seem to sell. Of course this forces her to bounce around record companies and she is overlooked. If you're a fan of Maria McKee or Alison Moorer, chances are good you will like Tift Merritt. She was born Jan. 8, 1975 in Houston but she grew up in Raleigh, NC. Her father, a one time aspiring folk singer, taught her to play guitar and piano. Tift's main influences are Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris. She was studying creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she met Zeke Hutchins. They formed The Carbines and started playing local clubs. Tift appeared on an EP by The Two Dollar Pistols. Then she won a songwriting contest at Merlefest 2000. This got Ryan Adams' attention and he took her to his manager and she signed with Universal's Lost Highway Records. Tift's 2002 debut CD Bramble Rose was highly acclaimed. It was chosen debut of the year by Associated Press. But it didn't sell. Her 2004 album Tambourine was produced by The Black Crowes producer George Drakoulias and backing musicians included Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Robert Randolph, Benmont Tench and Maria McKee and Gary Louris on backup vocals. Again the album was critically acclaimed. It was nominated for a Best Country Album Grammy. But it didn't sell. My guess is Tift isn't country enough for country music and she's not pop enough for pop music. But if you like roots music, she's right up your alley. But that's not mainstream music. Fortunately, Tambourine is available as a budget CD so be sure to check it out. Since then, Tift has recorded for Fantasy and Yep Roc. Her latest CD Night is with classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein. It was released on Sony Classical in 2013. Andrew Bird produced her 2012 album Traveling Alone. Tift is a member of his band and she also opens his shows. Check her out if she's coming your way. Here's Tift Merritt performing Stray Paper on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Jan. 28, 2005.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Aliaume "Akon" Thiam started out as a songwriter and producer and that led to a record deal and success with two number one hits from the 2006 album Konvicted including Don't Matter. He's still around but he hasn't released a CD since 2008. He was born Apr. 16, 1973 in St. Louis but he spent part of his childhood in Senegal. And that African influence is certainly part of his music. His father Mor Thiam is a percussionist known as an African cultural expert. He also played with pianist Don Pullen. Akon went to high school in Jersey City, NJ. Akon claimed that he was part of an auto theft ring and he spent three years in jail. It was proven later that this was embellished. Of course jail time can get an aspiring hip hop artist credibility with fans. He got a record deal after he was introduced to music exec Devyne Stephens and eventually Akon's music got the attention of Universal's SRC label. Akon's 2004 debut CD Trouble was certified Platinum. Locked Up and Lonely were both top ten hits. His 2006 album Konvicted did even better. I Wanna Love You and Don't Matter both topped the Billboard Hot 100. Konvicted was certified 3XPlatinum. So it was a huge hit. Akon wrote Don't Matter with Anthony Lawson. It samples Bob Marley's Zimbabwe and R. Kelly's Ignition. His 2008 album Freedom didn't do as well. And then he started to have problems with Universal. His CD Stadium was supposed to be released in 2010. They kept delaying it and eventually he left. He told Larry King he wants to buy Universal. Akon signed a new deal with Atlantic. He says he plans to release Stadium in five different versions mostly through a mobile app. The album was supposed to be released early 2016 but it hasn't happened yet. Maybe Atlantic won't release five versions like Akon wants. He needs to get something out there. 2006 was a long time ago. Here's the video for Don't Matter by Akon.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
|Joanne Calderwood, Jessica Andrade|
|Maryna Moroz, Justine Kish|
Album:RCA Country Legends
Eddy Arnold is one of the all time greats of country music. He was a consistent chart topper for decades and he was able to adapt to changing musical styles. He didn't cross over to pop much but it wasn't necessary. Cattle Call topped the country charts in 1955. He was born May 15, 1918 in Henderson, TN and he grew up on his dad's farm. This led to his nickname The Tennessee Plowboy. As a teen, he performed on the radio and Arnold made his Grand Ole Opry debut in 1943. Then he signed with RCA Records and he remained there for his entire career. Arnold's first number one country hit was What Is Life Without Love in 1946. Other number ones from that time include It's A Sin, I'll Hold You In My Heart, Anytime and Bouquet Of Roses. Arnold became more mainstream through TV. He hosted The Eddy Arnold Show beginning in 1952. The show aired on all three networks as a summer replacement. Arnold continued to top the charts. Cattle Call topped the country charts in 1955. It wasn't a new song and it wasn't even the first time Arnold had recorded it. Cattle Call was written and recorded by Tex Owens in 1934. Arnold was among those who recorded it in the 40s but Slim Whitman popularized the song in 1954. Arnold's new version was an even bigger hit. Folks love Arnold's yodeling. When Rock 'n' Roll started to affect country music adversely, RCA producer Chet Atkins brought in string orchestras to work with Arnold and Jim Reeves in an attempt to appeal to older audiences. This was called The Nashville Sound and later Countrypolitan. This production approach led to success in the mid 60s with hits like What's He Doing In My World. Then Arnold scored his only top ten pop hit with Make The World Go Away in 1965. Arnold continued to be a staple on the country charts until he left RCA for MGM in 1973. He returned to RCA in 1976 and remained there until his 1983 retirement. This budget comp covers Arnold's RCA recordings. Though Arnold had retired from recording, he performed occasionally until his 1998 retirement. He died May 8, 2008 at age 89. here's Eddy Arnold performing Cattle Call on The Eddy Arnold Show 1956.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Song:The Way You Love Me
Album:Superwoman: The Best Of Karyn White
Karyn White had success mostly on the R&B charts in the late 80s. The Way You Love Me wasn't her biggest hit but it was her first big hit. She was born Oct. 14, 1965 in Los Angeles. Her dad played trumpet and her mom was the church choir director. So Karyn grew up singing in church. And she participated in beauty pageants. After Karyn toured as a backup singer for O'Bryan, she appeared on Jeff Lorber's 1986 album Private Passion. This led to a deal with Warner Bros. Warners gave producers LA Reid and Babyface a list of singers they could work with and they chose Karyn who they had heard with Lorber. They wrote and produced her 1988 debut album Karyn White including the first single The Way You Love Me. The record topped the R&B charts and reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The singles Superwoman and Secret Rendezvous did just as well. The album was certified Platinum. It was around this time that Reid and Babyface started LaFace Records. So for her next album, Warners had to find Karyn a new producer. She worked with several producers on the 1991 album Ritual Of Love including Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis famed for working with Janet Jackson. They wrote and produced the chart topper Romantic which turned out to be Karyn's biggest hit. The album did OK but then Karyn married Terry Lewis and she had a daughter. By the time Karyn returned with the 1994 album Make Him Do Right, she was forgotten and the album didn't sell. She left Warners after that and she divorced Lewis in 1999. Karyn recorded an album in 2006 but it was never released. Though she did release an album in 2012, Karyn moved to Sacramento and opened an interior design business. She seems to be retired from the music business. Here's the video for The Way You Love Me by Karyn White.
Monday, July 18, 2016
Album:Sondheim, Etc.: Live At Carnegie Hall
Though she has appeared in movies and TV and there was even an attempt to turn her into a pop star back in the 80s, Bernadette Peters is primarily known for her long career on Broadway and especially her interpretation of the songs of Stephen Sondheim. Though Bernadette never appeared in the musical Follies until a 2011 revival, Broadway Baby is probably one of her signature songs. She was born Bernadette Lazzara Feb. 28, 1948 in Queen's, NY. She appeared on TV as a child and at age ten she became a professional actor as Bernadette Peters. The name change was to avoid ethnic stereotyping. She attended school while performing. It was while she was on a national tour of Gypsy that she met Marvin Laird and he has been her musical director ever since. She made her Broadway debut in 1967 in shows like George M!, Dames At Sea and La Strada. She got Tony nominations for On The Town in 1971 and Mack and Mabel in 1974. She moved to Los Angeles. Probably her best known movie roles were Silent Movie in 1976, The Jerk in 1979 and Pennies From Heaven in 1981. She also starred in the sitcom All's Fair with Richard Crenna. She also signed a record deal with MCA and her cover of Gee Whiz was a top 40 pop hit. She first recorded Broadway Baby on her 1981 album Now Playing. She returned to New York in 1982 and she has been appearing on Broadway ever since. Most notable were Sunday in the Park with George and Into The Woods. Both are Sondheim shows. This CD on Angel Records is Bernadette's 1995 Carnegie Hall debut. There is also a second CD from this concert. Bernadette continues to appear on Broadway usually in show revivals including Follies in 2011. She currently appears in the Amazon sitcom Mozart In The Jungle about the backstage wrangling at a New York symphony orchestra. I actually watch that show on Shomi in Canada. It's a very funny show and worth checking out. Here's Bernadette Peters performing Broadway Baby from Boston Pops On Broadway 1982.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Song:Da Doo Ron Ron
Teen idol Shaun Cassidy scored his only number one hit with Da Doo Ron Ron in 1977. After his brief singing career, Cassidy turned to acting and then writing and producing for TV which he still does today. He was born Sept. 27, 1958 in Los Angeles. His parents are actors Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones. David Cassidy is his half brother. While still in high school, he signed with Curb Records and he recorded his 1976 debut album Shaun Cassidy with veteran producer Michael Lloyd. At the same time, he starred in the TV series The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. After some success in Europe, Cassidy topped the charts worldwide with his cover of The Crystals classic Da Doo Ron Ron. His next single That's Rock 'n' Roll reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 200 and Cassidy was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy. His 1978 album Born Late also did well and Hey Deanie was a top ten hit. But then Cassidy faded and he recorded his final album in 1980. You can get all of his hits on this comp. In the 80s, Cassidy turned to acting. He starred in the 1980 TV series Breaking Away and he appeared on stage and TV. He had a year long run on Broadway with the 1995 show Blood Brothers co-starring with his brother David Cassidy. Then he got into writing. His big break came when he created the TV series American Gothic. Since then he has created and produced several shows. Currently Cassidy is executive producer of the NBC series Emerald City which will debut in 2017. The show is a dark take on The Wizard Of Oz. So there is life after being a teen idol. Here's Shaun Cassidy performing Da Doo Ron Ron on the German TV show Disco 1977.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Song:Into The Night
Album:Class Reunion 1980: The Greatest Hits of 1980
Benny Mardones is a two time one hit wonder. Into The Night was a top 20 hit in 1980 and then it was a top 20 hit again in 1989. I don't know of any other two time one hit wonders. Mardones was born Nov. 9, 1946 in Cleveland but he grew up in Baltimore. After a stint in the US Navy, Mardones moved to New York. In 1977, Mardones met Richie Havens. Havens introduced him to Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham and Mardones released the 1978 album Thank God For Girls on Private Stock Records. Unfortunately, Private Stock went out of business soon after the album release. Mardones then signed with Polydor and released the 1980 album Never Run, Never Hide. The album was produced by Styx recording engineer Barry Mraz. Mardones wrote several of the songs including Into The Night with songwriter Robert Tepper. Tepper went on to write No Easy Way Out for the film Rocky IV. Into The Night reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. There is a music video but there seem to be a couple of different edits floating around. After the 1981 album Too Mich To Lose didn't sell, Polydor dropped Mardones. That should have been the end for Benny Mardones. But in 1989, LA DJ Scott Shannon heard Into The Night on a Where Are They Now segment and and added the song to his playlist. It reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Curb Records signed Mardones and they had him record a new version of Into The Night. But it was the original version that charted. Mardones recorded two albums for Curb but only the first one was released. You can get the original recording of Into The Night on this various artists budget CD from PolyGram's Reunion label. Benny Mardones is still around but I guess he is a nostalgia act at this point. Here's the video for Into The Night by Benny Mardones.
Friday, July 15, 2016
Song:And The Angels Sing
Liltin' Martha Tilton was a big band singer best known for her stint with Benny Goodman in the late 30s. And The Angels Sing topped the charts in 1939 and it's probably Martha's signature song. She was born Nov. 14, 1915 in Corpus Christi, TX but she grew up in Los Angeles. While still in high school, she sang with bandleader Sid Lippman on his Coconut Grove radio show. Then she left high school to join Hal Grayson's band. After three years, Martha joined Jimmy Dorsey's band and appeared in the film Topper. Then Benny Goodman came to Los Angeles to film Hollywood Hotel. He was looking for a new singer as Helen Ward had just left the band. Martha auditioned and she toured with Goodman for the next couple of years. She became the first non classical singer to appear at New York's Carnegie Hall when she appeared on Goodman's landmark 1938 concert. Martha recorded several hits while with the Goodman band. But And The Angels Sing was probably her biggest hit and it became her signature song. The song was written by Goodman trumpeter and later bandleader Ziggy Elman and Johnny Mercer. When Mercer founded Capitol Records in 1942, Martha was one of the first to record for Capitol. While recording for Capitol in the 40s, she appeared on the Fibber McGee and Molly and Campana Serenade radio shows. Martha also appeared in films and her voice was frequently used to dub for actresses who didn't sing. The most significant of these was Martha dubbing for Barbara Stanwyck in the 1941 film Ball Of Fire. After Martha left Capitol for Coral in 1949, she continued to appear on radio and TV usually with singer Curt Massey. She also appeared as herself in the 1956 film The Benny Goodman Story. This 2CD comp from Jasmine Records covers Martha's entire career. Martha continued to appear on Los Angeles TV in the 60s. After appearing in the 1975 TV movie Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, she retired. Martha Tilton died on Dec. 8, 2006 at age 91. Here's Martha Tilton with Ziggy Elman performing And The Angels Sing 1955.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Here's the match video of Katlyn Chookagian vs Lauren Murphy from last night's UFC show in Siouc Falls, SD. Regular readers of this blog will know that I don't like Lauren Murphy going back to her Invicta days. She's a points fighter and one of the risks of being a points fighter is losing close fights. Katlyn is a UFC newcomer from New Jersey. She's a little undersized for a Bantamweight. She usually fights at 125. The first thing I noticed about Katlyn is she yelled every time she threw a punch. Isn't that telegraphing to your opponent? Not much happened in round one. But Katlyn was marginally more active than Lauren so I scored the round 10-9 for Katlyn. Between rounds, her coach John Crouch told her to do more. So in round two, Lauren scored a takedown. She didn't do much with it. But remaining in top position was enough to score the round 10-9 for Lauren. Round three was very similar to round one. Lauren didn't do enough. Katlyn threw more punches. I didn't think she was overly effective but it was enough to win Katlyn a unanimous decision win. I don't understand how a fighter can train for eight weeks and then go in the cage and do nothing. Her corner tells her to step it up and she still doesn't do it. Lauren Murphy took a match that she should win and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. There's no excuse for it. Watch the video for yourself.
Here's the match video for Cortney Casey vs Cristina Stanciu from last night's UFC show in Sioux Falls, SD. The thing I noticed the most was how much bigger Cortney is. She probably should be fighting at 125lb. She was competitive in her first two losses. I think she really wanted to show she belongs in the UFC. Cortney immediately scores a takedown and begins pounding from top position. The dominant position seemed to give her a lot of confidence. So when Cortney took Cristina down a second time, she pounded her until the ref stopped the fight. Maybe Cristina doesn't belong in the UFC. In her post match interview, Cortney said she wants to fight boring fighters so she can liven them up for the fans. She didn't name a specific fighter. But backstage she said she was referring to Carla Esparza. Obviously Cortney knows she has to beat a ranked fighter to get a higher spot in the food chain. Just remember Carla is a former champ for a reason. And Carla may want to fight a higher ranked fighter to get back into the title picture. A win over Cortney wouldn't help Carla with that. There's nothing wrong with asking. It doesn't mean she will get it. Enjoy the video!
Song:Hot Tamale Baby
After the death of Zydeco legend Clifton Chenier, someone had to step up and lead Zydeco into the new millennium. That someone turned out to be Stanley Dural Jr. known professionally as Buckwheat Zydeco. Because of his 80s recordings with Rounder and Island, Dural is probably the best known Zydeco musician today. He was born Nov. 14, 1947 in Lafayette, LA. His hair made him look like Buckwheat of The Little Rascals hence the nickname. His dad was a farmer who played accordion. Buckwheat started out in the early 70s playing organ for Joe Tex and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. And he also led the funk band Buckwheat and the Hitchhikers. But then in 1976 he joined Clifton Chenier's band as an organist. He got hooked on Zydeco music. Then Dural took up the accordion in 1978. And he started recording as a leader in 1979. The turning point for Dural came when he signed with Rounder Records and released the 1985 album Waitin' For My Ya Ya. His recording of the Chenier classic Hot Tamale Baby is from that album. The album did so well that it got Dural a deal with Island Records for the 1988 album On A Night Like This. It was nominated for a Grammy and Buckwheat Zydeco appeared in the film The Big Easy. Then he opened for Eric Clapton's 1988 tour including a twelve night stand at London's Royal Albert Hall. Other musicians have had Buckwheat Zydeco open for them. He also won an Emmy for his music for the CBS movie Pistol Pete: The Life and Times of Pete Maravich. Buckwheat Zydeco remained with Island until 1997. This comp covers the Rounder and Island recordings. These days Buckwheat Zydeco usually records for his own label Tomorrow Records. But he also recorded the 2009 CD Lay Your Burden Down on Alligator produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and with guest shots by Trombone Shorty, JJ Grey, Sonny Landreth and Warren Haynes. Buckwheat Zydeco is currently on tour and you should check them out if they're coming your way. The show is always a party. Here's Buckwheat Zydeco performing Hot Tamale Baby on the 2012 Rhythm and Blues Cruise.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Album:The Magic Numbers
The Magic Numbers have been successful mostly in their native England. You may have heard Mornings Eleven in the 2008 film Catch and Release. But there are no hit singles. They are a family group from Ealing, England. The lead singer, lead guitarist and main songwriter is Romeo Stodart. His sister Michele Stodart plays bass. Sean Gannon plays drums and his sister Angela Gannon plays the melodica. The two families were neighbours growing up and Romeo and Sean jammed together. The Magic Numbers formed in 2002 and gained a cult following playing London clubs. They released a single in 2004 and this led to a contract with EMI. Their 2005 debut CD The Magic Numbers went Platinum in England despite no big hit singles. The album is available as a budget CD. Since then The Magic Numbers have released four albums. They switched to Caroline Records for the 2014 CD Alias. Michele Stodart released a solo CD in 2012. The Magic Numbers are currently touring England. They are certainly worth checking out if you are not familiar with them. Here's the Magic Numbers performing Mornings Eleven at Glastonbury June 22, 2007.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Song:Bad To Me
Album:The Very Best Of
The British Invasion group Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas had a few hits. They were cast in the long shadow of The Beatles. They were under the same management and several of their hits including Bad To Me were Beatles rejects. Kramer was born William Howard Ashton Aug. 19, 1943 in Bootle, Lancashire, England. While working at British Railways, Kramer led the group The Sandstormers. He got the name Kramer out of the phone book. A meeting was set up with Beatles manager Brian Epstein. John Lennon was also there and he suggested adding the J to Kramer's name. When Kramer's band The Coasters were reluctant to record, Epstein hired an existing band The Dakotas to back up Kramer. The Dakotas also had their own record deal without Kramer. The Dakotas were Mike Maxfield on lead guitar, Robin MacDonald on rhythm guitar, Ray Jones on bass and Tony Bookbinder on drums. Both acts were on EMI's Parlophone label produced by George Martin who of course also produced The Beatles. Supposedly Martin didn't want to work with Kramer at first because he didn't like his voice. Kramer scored a hit in England with the Beatles song Do You Want To Know A Secret. Then they released Bad To Me and it reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. This was a John Lennon song that The Beatles chose not to record. You can get Lennon's original demo on The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963. So now Kramer and the Dakotas tour the US and appear on TV. Their other top ten hit was Little Children in 1964. The band was undone by personnel changes and disputes with Epstein. Kramer also had alcohol problems. They split up in 1967. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. A version of The Dakotas still tour the oldies circuit. None of the original members are part of the group. Kramer just published his autobiography and he last recorded in 2013. He was part of a 2015 British Invasion tour. Here's Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas performing Bad To Me on The Ed Sullivan Show 1963.
Monday, July 11, 2016
Song:Are You Jimmy Ray?
Are You Jimmy Ray? was a top 20 hit in 1998. But British singer Jimmy Ray quickly faded and now he's the subject of Whatever Happened To profiles. He only recorded one album. I think the problem was Ray had a retro rockabilly look but his music didn't reflect that. He was born Oct. 3, 1970 in London, England. He claimed to be influenced by Elvis Presley and other 50s singers. But when Ray began his music career in 1994, it was as part of a techno pop duo called AV with DJ Graham Drinnan. AV signed with Sony's S2 label but they split up before any music was released. S2 had success with Des'Ree and Jamiroquai. Ray remained with S2 and Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller became his manager. The album Jimmy Ray was released in 1998. Ray wrote and produced the album with Con Fitzpatrick. Are You Jimmy Ray? reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. And I think most fans will remember the video as it was in heavy rotation on MTV. Subsequent singles did not do well and Ray only recorded one album which is available as a budget CD. Ray did a US tour with The Backstreet Boys. So what happened To Jimmy Ray? It looks like there was disagreement with Fuller and Sony over creative direction. Maybe Ray didn't want to be a pop star. He hasn't done much since then. He claimed to be part of a production team working with a girl group. But nothing came of it. And last year he claimed to be working on a comeback record. So it looks like Jimmy Ray could be a one hit wonder. Here's the video for Are You Jimmy Ray? by Jimmy Ray.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Here's the match video of Julianna Pena vs Cat Zingano from UFC 200 in Las Vegas. This fight has title contender implications. Cat has been off for over a year since she lost to Ronda Rousey. She's from Denver but she now trains at Alliance in San Diego. When a fighter takes that much time off and it's not for an injury, the question is can she get her head back in the game. Of course Cat is a fan favourite and many fans feel she got a raw deal. I think a lot of them were underestimating Julianna because of their feelings for Cat. Taking feelings out of it, I thought the fight would be very competitive. Julianna trains at Sikjitsu in Spokane and she's looked good since returning from knee surgery last year. This fight was all about control. In round one, Cat scored a couple of takedowns. She remained in top position but didn't do much with it. And though Julianna was active from the bottom, top position is king. So I scored round one 10-9 for Cat. Cat scored another takedown at the start of round two. But Julianna reversed it and she maintained top position for the rest of the round. So I scored round two 10-9 for Julianna. Julianna continued to maintain top position in round three. She tried for a couple of submissions but the control won her a unanimous decision win. It's funny because neither fighter sustained any damage. The win sets up Julianna for a possible title shot. I'm not sure there was anything wrong with Cat except that Julianna was better than her on this day. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Miesha Tate defending her UFC Bantamweight Championship against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 last night in Las Vegas. Of course I'm sure you have all read that Amanda shockingly dethroned Miesha with a first round rear naked choke. I guess most thought it was an upset. But I have covered Amanda's career since before she came to the US and I may have been the first to interview her on this blog. She's a finisher. All but one of her wins have had finishes. She runs into problems when she doesn't finish because she lacks endurance. So if Amanda was going to win this fight, a first round finish was exactly how she would win. What Miesha needed to do was avoid the finish and win in the later rounds. That's why Miesha tried to keep away from her. But Amanda's first really good shot broke Miesha's nose. Unlike Sara McMann, Amanda won't let Miesha off the hook. She hammered Miesha enough that ref Herb Dean could have stopped the fight. But in a title fight, I agree with his decision to let it go. Amanda took Miesha's back and it ended with a rear naked choke. Congratulations to Amanda Nunes for winning the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Also congratulations to former UFC fighter and American Top Team head trainer Mike Brown and UFC fighter Nina Ansaroff who is Amanda's girlfriend and assists Brown. Now the trick is for Amanda to defend the title. Last night on Twitter, the immediate talk was for Amanda to face Ronda Rousey at the Madison Square Garden show in November. But I don't think Ronda will return until 2017. Other possibilities include Holly Holm if she wins her next fight. But the option that I like would have Amanda defend the title against Julianna Pena in Brazil. The fans there would go bonkers. Enjoy the video!
Song:The In Crowd
Album:The Greatest Hits of Ramsey Lewis
Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis scored a top five hit with The In Crowd in 1965. He has had a few other hits but that is the most memorable. He was born May 27, 1935 in Chicago. As a teen, he formed The Cleffs with bassist Eldee Young and drummer Red Holt and they would become The Ramsey Lewis Trio. They signed with Chess in 1956 and recorded for Argo. There's nothing unusual about their music. They are a standard jazz trio. Of course The In Crowd was a big hit for Dobie Gray in 1964. Lewis was in Washington, DC to record a live album at the Bohemian Caverns club May 1965. He was looking for a song he could perform on the show. He's sitting in a coffee shop and the waitress suggests The In Crowd and she plays it on the juke box. Ramsey writes an arrangement and the band records it at that night's show. After the album release, Leonard Chess calls Lewis and tells him The In Crowd is a hit. Lewis says great the album is selling well. Chess says it's bigger than that. We had to release it as a single. The In Crowd reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Lewis also scored chart hits with Hang On Sloopy and Wade In The Water. Soon after this Young and Holt left and would later have success as Young Holt Unlimited. They were replaced by Cleveland Eaton and Maurice White. Of course White went on to form Earth Wind & Fire and this led to Lewis' other big hit Sun Goddess in 1974. This budget comp covers Lewis' Chess recordings. Of course Lewis is still around. But there's no question that The In Crowd set the stage for a long and distinguished career. Here's Ramsey Lewis performing The In Crowd as part of a medley at the 1980 Montreal Jazz Festival.
Saturday, July 09, 2016
Here's the match video of Meiko Satomura defending her Sendai Girls World Championship against Io Shirai at the Sendai Girls 10th Anniversary show July 2 at the Niigata City Gymnasium. First of all, there's no way this belt was going to change hands on Meiko's home turf. And once you see all the belts that Io has already, she doesn't need any more hardware. The whole idea is to put on a great match. And that's exactly what they do. Meiko may not be who she used to be. But she can still rise to the occasion when it's necessary. Like all great matches, it starts out slowly. But it really picks up at the halfway mark. Io gets to land all her trademark moves like the rolling German suplex and the moonsault. But once Meiko kicks out of the moonsault, it's obvious that Meiko is winning. And a kick to the head followed by three death valley drivers, it's all over. Afterwards, Meiko thanks Io for doing the job. It's an entertaining match and I thing you will enjoy it.
Meiko Satomura (c) vs Io Shirai - (SENDAI 2016... by SenorLARIATO
Meiko Satomura (c) vs Io Shirai - (SENDAI 2016... by SenorLARIATO